Sirens & Gavels

FRIDAY, DEC. 21, 2012, 2:30 P.M.

Garbage truck breaks home’s gas meter

A broken gas meter led to a quick haz mat situation in north Spokane after a garbage truck broke while picking up trash in the narrow alley near Carlisle Avenue and Lincoln Street.  (Nicole Hensley)
A broken gas meter led to a quick haz mat situation in north Spokane after a garbage truck broke while picking up trash in the narrow alley near Carlisle Avenue and Lincoln Street. (Nicole Hensley)

A gas leak evacuated four homes Friday morning after a Spokane garbage truck broke a residential gas meter.

It was garbage day today for a home near Carlisle Avenue and Lincoln Street when a garbage truck clipped their gas meter meter around 8:30 a.m., causing it to leak natural gas from a small half-inch pipe.

Property owner Mark Loe said the mishap caused the basement tenant to wake up unexpectedly.

“He thought the Mayan calendar had finally come true,” Loe said.

Firefighters evacuated four homes as a precaution, but easily turned off the gas valve at the source, according to firefighter Jeff Estes. Meters can easily be damaged, but it’s more common to have digging accidents, he added, like Thursday afternoon incident where a contractor busted a natural gas pipe in the 1600 block of North Cook Street.

Nearby homes were briefly evacuated including a residential day care. Betsy Olson corralled her four grandchildren and four neighborhood kids to Chief Garry Park for some playtime.

This morning’s gas meter damage is the second publicized incident this week involving a city garbage truck. Two trash men were helping a woman move her stuck car when the parking brake on their truck broke sending the massive vehicle down an icy hill into several parked cars.

(The broken gas meter remains on the ground after a garbage truck broke a pipe and started a natural gas leak. | Nicole Hensley photo)




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